SUR

Hotel room prices in Spain rocket, partly driven by 'boom in demand'

The sector is facing rising costs but taking advantage of an increase in tourist numbers with some rooms now costing 20 per cent more than in 2019, before the Covid pandemic struck

EDURNE MARTÍNEZ MADRID.

After the pandemic, tourism demand in Spain has exploded and hotels are taking advantage of it. At the 43rd edition of Fitur, the most important travel fair in Europe, which began on Wednesday in Madrid, hoteliers have highlighted the increase in room rates both due to inflation and the rise in energy costs as well as the "boom in demand".

This was confirmed by the CEO of NH Group, Ramón Aragonés, who indicated that the rooms of its hotels, most of them urban, had rates 20% higher than in 2019, before the pandemic broke out. And for this year they will continue to grow to 10% to 15% above those of 2022. "It will be the best year in the company's history," Aragonés said.

From Meliá, its vice-president and CEO, Gabriel Escarrer, said that the group had a net profit of 52.6 million euros in 2022 after two very hard years due to the pandemic. Its average room rates were at 131 euros, 21.4% more than in 2021. In his view, tourists have come out of the pandemic wanting to spend more on premium options, which is seen in the 36% growth in revenue from superior rooms.

Escarrer said that the 2023 rates will be 7% higher than those of 2022, which in turn will mean prices 30% higher than those of 2019. "I see a lot of room for the rate, but this year there is going to be much more emphasis on occupancy," said the Meliá CEO, who acknowledged that until Easter the outlook is "fantastic".

80 million air passengers from abroad

A high demand outlook corresponds to the latest data on international passengers that Spain received in 2022 released on Wednesday by Turespaña. Last year there were more than 80 million air passengers from abroad, which means recovering 85% of the travellers who arrived in 2019. "These figures show that 2022 has been the year of the recovery of tourism in Spain and we anticipate a record 2023," said Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.